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Medieval Narrative

An Introduction

Tony Davenport

Publication Date - December 2004

ISBN: 9780199258390

316 pages

Offers a broad overview of the range of medieval narrative genres


Medieval Narrative offers students an introduction to the range of narrative genres and strategies of the medieval period and explores the ways in which medieval theories of narrative can be compared with modern day theories. Throughout the text the author draws from a wide range of examples, including Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the Ancrene Wisse, and continental examples of medieval narrative such as Boccaccio's Il Filostrato.


  • Offers a broad overview of the range of medieval narrative genres
  • Compares medieval theories of reading and analysis with modern day theories
  • Demonstrates ideas through the use of examples drawn from a wide range of primary texts

About the Author(s)

Anthony Davenport has taught Middle English and lectured on aspects of medieval literature for many years. His publications include Chaucer and his English Contemporaries: Prologue and Tale in The Canterbury Tales (Macmillan, 1998) and Chaucer: Complaint and Narrative (D.S. Brewer, 1988).


"Davenport's bold attempt to summarize the enormous subject of 'medieval narrative,' even with all of his qualifications, deserves well earned praise and no small amount of sympathy.... A most welcome, clarifying, and helpful book for those working through medieval narratives seriously for the first time, and it will be a welcome guest at the office of any teacher attempting to do for his or her students what Davenport has accomplished."--Christianity and Literature

Table of Contents

    1. Medieval Narrative Theory
    2. Types of Medieval Narrative
    3. Tale Collections
    4. The Canterbury Tales
    5. Longer Narratives
    6. Prologues and Narrators
    7. Composite Narrative
    8. Some Modern Conceptions of Medieval Narrative